Around the year 1238, in Buddhist terms, the first Muay Thai army was trained in the northern parts of Sukhothai. The force was initially created to protect the government and its people. This army was trained in response to the need to defend the capital city in the province of Sukhothai.
Many conflicts arose between neighbouring kingdoms. The soldiers trained by using unique fighting techniques that taught them how to use the entire body as a weapon. This training is what developed into the Thai boxing or Muay Thai we are familiar with today.
Muay Thai is also known as Thai boxing or “The Art of Eight Limbs.” The whole body functioned as one unit. The hands act like daggers, the elbow could strike opponents like a mace, and the forearms and shins were hardened to act as armour against blows. The fighter’s legs and knees also battered the enemy.
Kings and rulers of Thailand have always been avid fans of Muay Thai. Towards the end of the 19th century, King Rama V promoted this form of martial arts. He organised tournaments and other competitions that are still recognised to this day.
At the start of the First World War in 1914, Muay Thai was introduced to Europe and the rest of the world. French soldiers also learned a lot from Thai fighters. Many Thai fighters were summoned to France.
Muay Thai has become increasingly popular over the last century. During the Second World War, it began to garner even more international recognition, and foreigners called it “Siam Boxing.”
Today Muay Thai is known throughout the world. This form of martial art was recently accepted as an Olympic sport. There is a consensus among professional martial artists that Thai boxing or Muay Thai is a sure way of becoming an all-around multifaceted fighter.
Learn more about the history of Muay Thai by accessing the resources on this site.